Long time lurker, first time poster. After tons of research and demos, I need to pull the trigger today (for various reasons) on a new set but am still - maybe more - lost. The more I look, the more they all sound the same within 10%...demos don't help since every ski feels different every day on every run. Blah...
So, to keep it simple and solicit your advice on at least what to stay away from...here goes!
- 35, 5'9", 170, Level II CSIA, 10 year patroller
- can ski aggressive, but most of the time the conditions aren't exciting enough and I wind up lazy so can get thrown by the stiffer stuff given my size
- 75% of time is teaching intermediates on a small eastern hill, 20% playing on bigger eastern hills, 5%
rocking the west coast
- on hill, I have the most fun in trees and bumps but rarely see many...guess I mostly like to play where and how possible...quick turns to long, crud to bumps to ice patches, and back again
- summary is that I probably need edge hold the most cause of where I ski; but also something soft enough to manage quick turns, mostly cause they're fun but also for bumps and trees; some decent floatation for crud and puddle jumping; big pow days are non-existent or I'll rent if I hit one out west.
- old skis: Volkl Vertigo 163 (loved em, still my best rock skis), Elan M666 168 (current sticks, decent but not exciting or high performing), Rossi Bandit 181 (tanks, but rather boring and too long)
- strong contenders: Volkl AC50 (+edge, =turny, -bumps/trees, =float), Blizzard 8.1 (=edge, +turny, +trees/bumps, =float), Blizzard 8.7 (=edge, =turny, =trees/bumps, +float)
- wild cards: Volkl Tiger Shark 12 (+edge, +turny, -bumps/trees, - float), Fischer Progressor 9 (+edge, +turny, =bumps/trees, =float), Nordica Afterburner (=edge, =turny, =bumps/trees, =float)
Dammit, why can't somebody bend physics to make something with a 85mm waist that's also quick edge to edge for bumps and trees, and giving lots of flex to carve troughs yet able to rail on ice.